Oh the bride. One of my favorite things to photograph and a top tier reason why I decided to be exclusive to weddings this year is the bride. I believe, with everything in me, there are few things more beautiful than a Bride. Besides being adorned in a gorgeous gown…I love that they truly glow–and that glow goes beyond all of the fanciness of the dress & the jewelry–because I have found, that people in true love–man they wear it SO well. What is that quote from Carrie Bradshaw? “Dressed head to toe in love.” It’s the most beautiful thing. With all of the emotions running throughout the day and all of the planning that goes into it…some may see it has hectic and maybe even a little scary–but I’ve never seen it for more than I believe it is: beautiful. (This coming from a girl who had the craziest thing happen to her 30 days before her own wedding.)
Bridal portraits are so fabulous and one of my favorite things. When I started my business I centered my beliefs of what-will-make-it-work on that of creating relationships with my clients that really mean something to me. I didn’t want to just be the hired a year before–see ya at the wedding ‘help’. No. The best work I do comes when I have created and built a relationship with each one of my couples. That is when it becomes personal. That is when I cry at the ceremonies. (I do. Every time.)
Maybe it was my experience as a bride. I had one of the best experiences I could have imagined. Amanda was the perfect fit for us. I found myself e-mailing her for wedding advice having nothing to do with the photography aspect. As a professional in the industry, she had the answers for me and I knew I could trust her. I knew I had to give that to my brides–every bride deserves that–not a stranger showing up the day of her wedding to photograph some of the most important moments in her life.
One of the questions I get asked often is in regards to bridal portraits. I have to be honest. I didn’t originally sign up for them when I hired my (amazing) wedding photographer because I didn’t know what they were BUT once I found out I immediately added them on. So what is a bridal portrait session? A bridal portrait session takes place usually a few months before the wedding and involves just the bride. Just like a normal session, we spend around two hours together. The bride wears her dress and typically gets her hair & make up trial done similar to how she would on her wedding day. The moms love these: think canvas over the fire place 😉 Besides that these portraits are typically displayed on canvas at the wedding reception. It’s like icing on the cake on the wow factor scale.
I think bridal portraits are important which is why I include them in one of my packages and also as an add-on option. So why are they important? I could go one for awhile since I love them so much but I’ll try to keep it shortER (;)). First off this time in your life is SO special and unlike any other. I think spending as much time as you can in that beautiful gown is always a good idea. I also recommend bringing along someone close: mom, sister, best friend. We make an experience out of it. I can’t tell you the way my mom looked at me whenever I had that gown on and it was nice to be able to observe those moments in a more relaxed, pressure free environment. Gorgeous Beth(picture above) brought along her mom to her portraits and at the very end I snapped one of the two of them. On the wedding day, one of Beth’s gifts was that picture–ooooh we had the tears flowing (got a picture of that too–hehe).
Secondly, it is like a trial run. A dress rehearsal. I always recommend scheduling your hair and makeup trial the same day as your bridal portraits. If you’ve chosen an artist that specializes in wedding day hair and make up services, this is often included in their packages. Trials are a perfect way to see exactly what you will look like–aka fabulous–when you walk down the isle. You will also receive your photos way before the wedding and will be able to see exactly how it will all photograph. I also recommend checking with your florist for a mock bouquet–something similar but maybe not as extravagant as your day of flowers. Trust me you are going to want something to hold onto since this is the one solo mission during your wedding photography experience. 🙂
And I will say this because I know you may be thinking it: between our helper and myself–now an expert dress handler–I promise your dress will not get dirty. I always bring along a sheet in the event that the ground is a little soft or for seated shots and such. But the final reason I love bridal portraits so much and why I gave you that little tidbit in the beginning is because I honestly enjoy the extra time spent getting to know each other. I’ve seen firsthand that the more time I spend with my clients, the closer we become–and AHH that grand exit on the wedding day is always bitter sweet.
SO as I’m sure you’ve realized by now I LOVE bridal portrait sessions and the images produced from them have resulted in some of my favorite images all time. The bride, alone and owning every ounce of beauty that she has, is like a staple in photography. It is iconic. Furthermore, that portrait displayed so beautifully on that canvas is instantly an heirloom. It’s a tangible, real memory of such a glorious, beautiful time in your life.
I do wish I had the opportunity to do these for all of my brides. It’s an experience I know I personally continue to cherish. My bridal portrait session was such a good day and one I won’t forget spending with my mom. Those moments as a bride extended a little further than just the wedding day are ones I continue to cherish. I am blessed to be able to offer these same type of days to my brides and their families.
I’m so happy I had THIS to give to my mom.
WELL if that doesn’t make me long for Summer days and have my tan back I don’t know what does! 😉 Have a wonderful weekend! I’m heading out of town to try out a snowboarding (say a little prayer for me haha!) and to spend some time with friends but most importantly my amazing husband who puts up with my crazy schedule. Man that guy loves me. I’m really lucky.